The Urban Guide to the Countryside

7 fun things to get out and about for

2 Feb 2017

Right, dry January’s over, it’s time to get off that sofa and go out and have some fun. Beer, ballet, burlesque, more beer – it’s all here in the Muddy Guide

Tour of Stroud Brewery, Thu 2 Feb

Why not swap your Thursday night drink down the pub and hop over to Stroud Brewery (see what I did there?) for a tour of the inner workings of the brewery? Hear the story of how it all started, sample the wares and then, with your free gift of a mini Stroud Brewery Tankard in your pocket, head to the bar for full-size pints and scrumptious, wood-fired baked, sourdough pizza.
Stroud Brewery, Unit 11 (off Hope Mill Lane), London Road, Thrupp, Stroud GL5 2BU.

The Burlesque Show, The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Fri 3 Feb

Enjoy a bit of slap and tickle, tassels and tease at The Burlesque Show, the saucy, award-winning West End show that’s now taking its sexed-up brand of variety on tour around the country. It promises to titillate and amuse with evocative Arabian Nights, fabulous fan dancing fantasies, foxy 1940s WAF sirens and bubblegum-blowing basketball babes. That’ll warm up a cold February night very nicely.
The Everyman Theatre, Regent Street, Cheltenham GL50 1HQ. Tel: 01242 572573.

Magic Night at Lily Gins, Cheltenham, Fri 3 Feb

Lily Gins, Cheltenham’s high-voltage cocktail bar and house of untethered fun, is hosting a magic night this Friday, where Richard Parsons, resident magician and Magic Circle member, will be walking round tables with his bag of tricks from 10pm to midnight. After a couple of Nuclear Daiquiris (which includes ingredients I didn’t even know existed, but wow they taste great all shaken up together!), I reckon I’ll be ready to believe anything.
Lily Gins, 2A Ormond Terrace, Regent Street, Cheltenham GL50 1HR.

Winter Beer Festival, Gloucester Brewery, Fri 3 – Sat 4 Feb

Want more beer?  Hell, why not? The venue for Friday and Saturday night is Gloucester Brewery which is hosting its first beer festival of the year. Get happy on Gloucester Gold, Six Malt Porter, barrel-aged beers and 12-month Sauternes Aged Barley Wine. Hot food and live music will also be on tap.
Gloucester Brewery, Fox’s Kiln, West Quay, Gloucester GL1 2LG. Tel: 01452 668043.

Exclusively Men cookery course, Eckington Manor Cookery School, Sat 4 Feb

Here’s a win win idea. Get your man out from under your feet for the day and teach him to cook! Eckington Manor Cookery School, just over the border in Worcestershire, is holding an Exclusively Men cookery course on Saturday and there are still places available. The school, which is part of country house hotel Eckington Manor (where the 2015 winner of MasterChef The Professionals Mark Stinchcombe heads up the kitchen) sources ingredients from its farm and teaches its cooks simple recipes that they (or rather YOU) can enjoy again and again. Get ready to put your feet up.
Eckington Manor, Hammock Road, Eckington, Worcestershire WR10 3BJ. Tel: 01386 751600.

The Bolshoi Ballet: Swan Lake Live Screening, The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Sun 5 Feb

If, like me, you always mean to book ahead for tickets to see the ballet at the Royal Opera House, ENO, Sadler’s Wells, but never quite manage it, then watching The Bolshoi perform Swan Lake live on the big screen sounds like the next best thing and a not a bad way to spend a February Sunday night. (Is anyone else finding Apple Tree Yard a bit traumatic for a Sunday??) Starring the prima ballerina with the supermodel looks Svetlana Zakharova as Odette and Odile.
The Roses Theatre, Sun Street, Tewkesbury GL20 5NX. Tel: 01684 295074.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Nature in Art, near Gloucester, until 12 March

Get out of the way of Storm Doris and immerse yourself in nature in the sedate Georgian surroundings of the Nature in Art Gallery and Museum where the 100 winners of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photography of the Year competition are on tour. Be prepared to be blown away by grizzly bears, marching penguins, mountain hares and urban foxes.
Nature in Art, Main A38 Twigworth, Gloucester GL2 9PA. Tel: 01452 731422.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Gloucestershire Edition